Here’s where Walmart is expanding its store base

On the heels of announcing it would close more than 150 stores in the United States, Walmart says it will open 15 supercenters this month in Canada.

These grand openings bring Walmart Canada’s total store count to 400 stores, including 312 supercenters and 88 discount stores. The company says its 15 supercenter projects represent an investment of more than $100 million and have generated approximately 700 new store jobs and 1,450 construction and trade jobs in that nation.

“We’re thrilled to open our 400th location in Canada this month, as well as our 300th supercenter,” said Preyash Thakrar, senior vice president, strategy and real estate. “These supercenters will provide even more Canadian communities with affordable access to quality fresh groceries and one-stop shopping, while also saving them money.”

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Walmart Closing Stores

Walmart said it will close 269 stores worldwide this year, including many of its smallest stores, in an unprecedented move CEO Doug McMillon characterized as being more disciplined about growth.

Plans call for the company to close 154 locations in the U.S., including the company’s 102 smallest format stores, Walmart Express, which had been in pilot since 2011. Walmart said it will focus on strengthening its large format supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets which average about 40,000-sq.-ft., growing the e-commerce business and expanding pickup services for customers. In terms of closures by format type, the company said the 154 U.S. locations consist of 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers and four Sam’s Clubs.

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Walmart Shifts Merchandising Decision-Making Back to Store Owners

Ongoing operational changes at Wal-Mart could mean more costs for suppliers on top of recently added charges related to the retailer’s efforts to amend its vendor contracts. Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran said in Tuesday’s (Aug. 18) earnings release that several changes underway will have a direct impact with suppliers.

Somewhat buried in the release was a statement that involved product features and modular decisions, which are important to suppliers. Foran said Wal-Mart is shifting some of the decisions involving modulars and features back to store operators. Insiders within the local supplier community said there are implications for small and larger product vendors regarding the modular changes.

Large suppliers who in past years have downsized their merchandising staffs could be forced to shift budgets and once again reallocate more resources to the stores. Another alternative would be to outsource the work to one of several merchandising service firms across the country.

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Costco works with Alibaba to limit risks as it enters China

CHICAGO — By selling directly to Chinese consumers on Alibaba’s platform, a move announced last week by the American retailer Costco Wholesale, it aims to employ local knowledge and a low-cost structure to avoid missteps that caused even Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, to stumble in China.

Many global retailers opening in China have struggled to find product mixes and store designs that appeal to local customers. In addition to Walmart, others like Best Buy and eBay have fallen short of expectations in one of the fastest-growing consumer markets.

Costco’s virtual storefront on the Alibaba site Tmall is designed to help the company study consumer shopping habits with no brick-and-mortar costs and fewer risks, signaling a new approach to expanding in China.

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Sam’s Club VS. Costco: Do Lower Prices Trump Employee Happiness

Sam’s Club and its two major competitors, Costco Wholesale Corp. and the privately held BJ’s Wholesale Club, are in a battle for customers. For many the choice comes down to cost. Price isn’t the only factor, but if one of the three were appreciably more expensive, customers would be scurrying for one of the others. Wholesale clubs don’t attract customers with frills — all are pretty stark with a warehouse-like environment — and having items for sale at the lowest possible price is the differentiator between these stores and traditional low-cost retailers like Wal-Mart or Target .

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What has Walmart worried

Ask six senior merchandising executives from Walmart and Sam’s Club what keeps them up at night and be prepared for an interesting collection of answers relating to key competitors and assorted challenges.

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Walmart to open new hub in Atlanta

In an effort to manage more effectively the 1,600 stores it has in 20 eastern states, Walmart has announced the opening of a new office in Atlanta.  Rosalind Brewer has been appointed to run the new east division.  She currently is the president of Walmart East and the executive VP of Walmart U.S…(read more)

Walmart To Open New Stores

In order to boost sales nation-wide, Walmart announced a plan to open 300 to 400 new stores across the country. These stores will be scaled back versions of the giant facilities Walmart currently has open in both its urban and rural markets. “Walmart Market” will be approximately 25,000 to 70,000 sq. ft., and “Walmart Express” will be even smaller at 15,000 sq. ft. The company has a plan in place to open up these smaller stores within the next three years…(read more)

Walmart offers free shipping for online holiday purchases

According to the New York Times, Walmart will be offering free shipping to its online customers. Beginning this week and ending Dec. 20, online shoppers can purchase items with no minimum restrictions on more than 60,000 products. The company will not raise prices to off set the costs involved with its product distribution…Read More